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Album Review

Although the Legendary Pink Dots' discography runs back to 1981, 1983's Curse LP marks the point of intersection between the factors that will really generate the LPD sound: a song-focused set (unlike Basilisk, for instance) with a good balance between pop arrangements and sonic experiments, and decent sound quality (unlike on Brighter Now or Only Dreaming). Many fans will prefer making Curse their furthest reach into the group's catalog than going deeper, into what could be labeled "very early material." This album yielded the fan-favorite "Love Puppets," already bearing the mark of a classic LPD song: ornamented imagery, somber double-entendres, Gothic yet witty arrangements, and Edward Ka-Spel's "deadpan doll" delivery. Other highlights include "Arzhklahh Olgevezh," which remained a live staple for a while, "Waving at the Aeroplanes," and "Doll's House." The only experimental or psychedelic track is the closing 12-minute "Stoned Obituary," a strange convoluted piece blending separate song materials and instrumental passages, almost in progressive rock fashion. Some parts of this track bear inferior sound quality, but it still works out as a whole, although at a minor level, compared to later, more exuberant epics. In fact, because of its form, treatment, and place in the group's history, "Stoned Obituary" could be likened to Marillion's "Grendel." Out of the raw beginnings of the group and the early tape experiments, Curse rises as an artistically successful album, already pointing straight at the Dots' best '80s LPs (The Tower, Asylum, Any Day Now). ~ François Couture, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Pandora - Open The Box and Hold It Up

Listen to the album and feel the delights. For the
non-Incubus guys, have a few beers first and it will
sound, really, really trippy.

Sparse, yet brilliant

Perhaps in many ways this is not an album that I would list as my favorite LPD release, yet it's an album that I keep going back to for some reason. The songwriting shines alot on this album with lots of very memorable songs. The opener "Love Puppets" is quite a winner in my book, with an industrial synth leading most of the song. Very cool track. Secondly we have the track "Wall Purges Night" which delves into some 80's post punk stylings. Following comes the song "Lisa's Party" which is a catchy and dancable pop song, with the usual dark and twisted lyrics typical of Kaspelian lyrical work. Next we have the tracks "Arzhklahh Olgevezh" and "Pruumptje Kurss" in which Kaspel invents his own gibberish language, adding some humor to the album as a whole. For some people it may distract them from taking the album seriously but in some ways I think these tracks show the Krautrock German influence that these guys take after (bands like Can and Neu). Following these tracks comes the Velvet Underground inspired "Waving at the Aeroplanes". Then comes the brief track "Hiding" which is basically a female spoken word track with an ethnic sounding flute composition in the backround. Definately a filler track but yet adds to the albums feel. Next comes "Dolls' House/ The Palace of Love" which is another catchy yet somewhat distrubing track. The lyrics deal with murder and violence, which if you already know the Pink Dots, it comes as no surprise. The last two tracks, "The Stoned Obituary Pt1 and Pt2" is the long epic dealing with the topic of crucifiction. Whether the song is talking about Jesus Christ is unclear as there is quite a lot of abstract modern terminology that masks the track. Although not as good as later epics by the LPDs it's definately one of the highlights of the album. Great album! Although it's rough in production in spots it's still amazing. If you've previewed the tracks and like what you hear, buy it! You will not be disappointed.

Biography

Formed: 1980 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Formed in London in 1980, the Legendary Pink Dots moved to Amsterdam in the middle of the decade. Members throughout the band's career have been Edward Ka-Spel (vocals, keyboards) and Phil Knight (keyboards), also known as the Silver Man, with a shifting supporting cast over the years. The Dots' music is by turns melodic pop and exotic psychedelia, with classical influences, sampling, and relentlessly dark, violent, apocalyptic lyrics. After several releases for Mirrodot and Inphaze during the early...
Full Bio
Curse, Legendary Pink Dots
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